Healthy While Trucking: Mind and Body
By David A. Kolman
Anyone still keeping those “I’m going to exercise more” New Year’s resolutions? Difficult to do, isn’t it? For the most part, though, I’m proud to say that I am.
As we struggle with our fitness, I recommend adding mental fitness to the workout routine. After all, we can’t get all the benefits from a healthy body if the mind doesn’t remain alive and active as we age. I got that bit of information during my latest DOT medical re-qualification from a chatty doctor.
The idea of brain fitness peaked my interest and got brain going, so I looked into the subject and found some advice from a group of experts from various relevant fields that participated in a Cognitive Health Roundtable. (There is a meeting for everything, it seems.) According to these experts, there are four pillars of cognitive health:
- Nutrition – Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet.
- Physical activity – We adults should be physically active for 30 minutes three or more days a week.
- Sleep – We should strive for an average of seven to eight hours of quality sleep daily.
- Cognitive exercise – We ought to find new and challenging things to do that stretch us beyond the daily norm.
As for nutrition, I’m trying really hard. I can’t recall the last time I had sugar in my coffee, a candy bar, ice cream and pie or a bag of real potato chips. I’ve been increasing my physical activity by taking loads of finger-print freight and parking my rig further away from my rest and eat stops so that I have to walk more, which I do at a fast pace.
I’m lucky in that I don’t have trouble falling or staying asleep. I just can’t seem to get enough of it.
As for continually challenging the mind, among other things, my wife has me cooking more when I’m home. Truth be told, I’m one of those people that have trouble boiling water. However, I’m a master at microwaving.
I’m also taking loads to new places so I’m being challenged by finding my own way. I’m also one of those people that have no sense of direction, and no GPS unit.
Care to share your tips for a total – mind and body – fitness program?